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Reading Comprehension: Practice Question of the Week #14 Answer

Here’s the answer to yesterday’s question:

Car Owner: Not all certified auto mechanics are honest. Therefore, though all the mechanics at Nick’s Auto Garage are certified, there must be a few who are dishonest.

The flawed pattern of reasoning exhibited by the car owner is most similar to that exhibited by which of the following statements?

  1. Although some R-rated films contain nudity, all of de Guzman’s films are R-rated. Therefore, some of de Guzman’s films contain nudity.
  2. All champagne comes from France, but not all champagne is dry. Therefore, French beverages need not be dry.
  3. Although some chili is not spicy, all chili is hearty. Therefore, food can be hearty even if it is not spicy.
  4. Not all thieves get caught, but all thieves are criminals. Therefore, people can be criminals even if they don’t get caught.
  5. Not all professional basketball players are tall; some short pro basketball players are former track athletes. Therefore, the short pro basketball players were all, at one time, track athletes.

 The correct answer is A.

The fact that some certified mechanics are dishonest does not necessarily mean that Nick’s Auto has any dishonest mechanics on staff. The flawed pattern: some A (certified mechanics) are B (dishonest); all C (mechanics at Nick’s Auto) are A; therefore some C are B.

This is the same as answer choice (A), A being “R-rated films,” B being “contain nudity,” and C being “de Guzman’s films.” Though all of de Guzman’s films are R-rated, it is possible that none of them contains nudity.

(B), (C), and (D) are incorrect. These choices do not contain flawed reasoning, nor is the pattern the same as in the original argument. Watch out for traps like (D), which have subject matter similar to that of the original statement(thieves/dishonest

(E) is incorrect. (E) contains flawed reasoning but not of the same pattern as the car owner’s. (The pattern in this answer choice could be presented as some A (pro basketball players)are B (short); some B are C (former track athletes); therefore all B were C.

If you’d like to read more about Reading Comprehension, check out Chris’s post on How to Approach GRE Reading Comprehension!

By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

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